19 Nov 2005

Fiji president's office linked to reported mercenaries in PNG

8:29 am on 19 November 2005

The Fiji President's Office has been linked to two members of the group of Fiji men reported to be training a private militia in Bougainville.

Papua New Guinea's high commissioner in Suva, Peter Eafeare, has revealed that Freddy Rokondi and Sam Baroi's visa applications were backed by the official secretary to the President, Suliasi Turagabeci.

Mr Eafeare says Mr Turagabeci's letter said that he had known the two men "for over 10 years" and that they were "very committed and faithful Christians" who were trustworthy and would abide by the conditions of their visa.

Mr Eafeare says the applications stated that they wanted to do church work in Papua New Guinea.

He says another supporting letter came from David Harau, the national director for Every Home for Christ in PNG.

The men have reportedly been hired by the investment scam operator, Noah Musingku, on a purported promise of US$1 million each.

Mr Eafeare says they will be very disappointed because he says Mr Musingku has no money to pay them.